Text Equivalent of Which Respirator is Right for the Farm Work You Do?

Do you have any respiratory exposures? Examples: working with hogs, cattle, dairy, poultry, grain, tobacco, cotton, pesticides, chemicals, silos, and welding.

Consider your exposures. Most farm activities put you at risk for some type of respiratory exposure causing a need for respiratory protection.

Are you exposed to dust/aerosols?

  • grain
  • hay
  • hogs
  • pesticides (solids)
  • poultry
  • mold
  • grain dust

If so, use one of the following:

  • Two-strap respirator
  • Cartridge with P100 filters
  • Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR).

[Photo of two-strap respirators, cartridge with P100 filters, and powered air purifying respirator.]

Are you exposed to chemicals/fumes?

  • pesticides or paint (organic vapors)
  • ammonia
  • disinfectants
  • bleach (acid gas)

If so, use one of the following:

  • Half mask cartridge respirator
  • Powered Air Purifying Respiratory (PAPR).

[Photo of half-mask cartridge respirator, 4 cartridges, and a powered air purifying respirator.]

Do you work in an oxygen limiting environment?

An oxygen limiting environment would be considered a confined space where there would not be enough oxygen to support life.

  • livestock and poultry confinement
  • grain handling
  • fumigation
  • manure pits
  • hydrogen sulfide
  • silo

If so, use one of the following:

  • Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
  • Supplied air respirator

[Photo of a self-contained breathing apparatus.]

Recommendations and Resources

Fit testing: choosing the right respirator with the right fit is essential to having adequate protection.

Cartridge respirators should be fit tested and fit checked with each use.

To find out more information about proper fit, contact AgriSafe Network at www.agrisafe.org

If you have a medical condition that would prohibit you from wearing a respirator, consult a health care provider. Example: heart conditions, lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema, uncontrolled hypertension, or claustrophobia.